Cheesing hardcore...the Claes4.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

Fancy schmancy.
Growing up we didn't eat a lot of traditional comfort foods or frozen foods.  So when my Mom would give in and let us get a "TV dinner" I would get a chicken pot pie (or Banquet fried chicken meal) and I loved them.  For a while the church we attend would have Wednesday night fellowship meals catered (yeah...our church rocks... by a local business, the Texas Pie Company (  Their samplings, other than pie, are chicken pot pie, King Ranch chicken, chicken tetrazzini, lasagna and beef stroganoff.  All great comfort food meals.

Recently I decided to make chicken pot pie myself.  For some reason it always scared me before. The whole idea of making pie crust (or bread) confuses me.  But when I realized, "duh...frozen pie crust" I knew I could do this.  Here is a rough description of what I do, along with the ingredient list.


     2 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts (you decide what you want to use)
     3-5 diced carrots
     2 stalks celery
     1 small onion
     2 cloves garlic

     frozen peas
     poultry seasoning, pepper, parsley and marjoram, to taste (I also use a hit of cumin.)
     chicken broth
     whole wheat flour

How to:
1.  Boil chicken in enough chicken broth and/or water to cover.  I used a Knorr caldo de pollo cube (  I would have also added a bay leaf if I could have found them in my pantry.
2.  While chicken is cooking add onion to a medium skillet.  I used frozen diced onion I had put up.  I don't use oil for this part because you just want the onions to start "sweating" not brown.
3.  Once the onions start "sweating" add the diced carrots and celery.  Cover and cook about 10 minutes and then add the garlic.  Again, you don't want to brown the items, just want them 
to get tender.  Add some broth or water if you feel the urge.  
4.  Once the chicken is cooked strain the broth into your vegetable mixture.  I strain it because I don't like the "floaters" you sometimes get when boiling frozen chicken.  Dice chicken to the size you like and add to the veggies.
5.  Taste the combination and adjust the seasonings.  I usually do not add salt because the caldo de pollo cube is salty enough.  Then add about 2 tablespoons flour to about 1/2 cup of water, stir till lumps dissolve and add to the veggies.  I also add about 1/2 cup of milk for more creaminess.  You can use half and half and evaporated milk too.  Bring to a low boil to thicken.  Taste and again adjust to your preference.  
6.  The last step is adding the frozen peas.  I add about 1 1/2 cups.  You can also use frozen veggies in place of all the vegetables but I don't like the balance of what vegetables are 
usually in a package.
7.  Prepare pie crust according to directions for a 2 crust pie.  Add enough of the pot pie mixture to be just shy of the very top, you need breathing room.  I used about 4 1/2 cups of the mixture.  Place the top crust and vent.
8.  Cook according the the pie crust box.  Anywhere from 25-40 minutes, depending on your oven and amount of doneness you like.
*I cook intuitively so all measurements are guess-timations.

Verdict:  My family enjoys this and I could eat it quite frequently but I know they would tire of it.  Harper, the youngest, isn't a fan of it but I think that is her being stubborn.  Marlee, the oldest, really likes it.  It is really an easy thing to do that looks impressive.  You can use what you have on hand or like too.  Less celery, add cooked, diced potatoes...sure.  I think the trick is cooking or pre-cooking everything, that way it doesn't take an hour to cook.  It is easy to double and freeze the extra.

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